100 Popular French Last Names with Meanings

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October 25, 2021

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Popular French Last Names with Meanings

Have you ever wondered how a last name came into existence? Or where certain last names come from? Here you will find 100 popular French last names with their meanings.

Intro

No matter the meaning behind the name, it connects you to your family. As such, it can be used to trace your family tree back and learn more about who you are and where you come from. Your last name is almost as much a part of your identity as your first name is.


Abadie

Abadie is a French last name meaning “abbey” and “family chapel”.

It comes from the word “abadia”.


Allard

Allard is an old French surname which means “noble”, that originated in Germany.


Archambeau

Archambeau is a French last name that means “Bold” or “Daring”.

It originally came from the Latin name “Arcambaldus” and the German word “Ercan”.


Auclair

This French surname means “Clear”.

Auclair derives from the French word “clair”.


Barbier

Barbier is an Old French last name that originates from the ancestral profession of barber.

A fun fact about this last name is that there is a crater on the moon named Barbier.


Baudelaire

Baudelaire means “small sword” or “dagger”.

If you are thinking that this name sounds familiar, it was the family name of the three siblings in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.


Beaufort

Beaufort is a French surname meaning “beautiful fortress”.


Beaumont

Beaumont is a French surname meaning “beautiful hill or mountain”.


Blanchet

This French last name means white as it came from the French word “blanc”.

Apparently, it was originally given to those who were blonde or had a pure or pious reputation.


Blouin

Blouin is a French surname meaning “blue” or “an unusually pale complexion”.


Bodin

The French last name Bodin means “Shelter” or “one who brings news”.


Boire

Boire is a French surname that means “to drink” as it is the same as the French verb “boire”.

A lot of French surnames have actually originated using this verb or the verb “bibere” (also “to drink”), such as Bibeau, Bibaud and Bibaut.


Bois

Bois is a French last name which means “bush”, “shrub” or “undergrowth”.


Boucher

This French surname is another example of an occupation becoming a last name. This is because un boucher is a butcher.


Cadieux

Cadieux is a French last name meaning “Little fighter”.

It is an ancient surname that comes from the word “cad”.


Cartier

Cartier is another name that could have originated because of an ancestor’s job. It comes from the Norman-Anglo French word for a person who transported goods.


Castillon

Castillon is a French surname meaning “castle”.


Cellier

This French last name means “storeroom”.


Chapdelaire

Chapdelaire is a French surname meaning “hooded cloak, cape, hat”.


Chastain

Chastain is a French last name meaning “from the chestnut tree”.

It originated from the Latin word “castanea”.


Chevrolet

Chevrolet may sound familiar as it is a car company which was founded in 1913 by Swiss engineer, Louis Chevrolet.

It is a popular French last name as well though, which was first found in Normandy, meaning “goat herder” due to it coming from the French word “chèvre”.


Corbin

Corbin is a French surname meaning “raven, little crow”, which comes from the French word “corbeau”.


D’aureville

This French surname means “golden village”.


De La Fontaine

This French surname means “from the fountain” and may sound familiar as it is the last name of a famous writer, Jean de La Fontaine.

There is also a French last name which is simply “Fontaine” meaning “fountain”.


De Villiers

This is another occupational French last name, which comes from someone who would plant or work on the vrilles (tendrils).


Dubois

Dubois is a French surname meaning “forest”.

This name is also a popular one in America.


Duplantier

This French last name could have come from where your ancestors lived as it means “of the plantation” or refers to someone who lives near a plantation of trees.


Dupont

Dupont is a French surname meaning “of the bridge.” Like Duplantier, Dupont may refer to your ancestors living near a bridge.


Durand

This French last name means “enduring”. It is an old French name and is the eighth most common name in France.


Edouard

Edouard means “prosperous guardian” and can be linked to Olde English through its similarity to the English surname “Edwards”.


Escoffier

Like the previous French last name, Escoffier is linked to the Olde English surname “Edwards” and means “prosperity guard”.

Although there is a second meaning which is “to dress” coming from the word “escofia”.


Farrow

Farrow is another French last name that comes from an occupation. It is named after an ironworker, or “ferror”.


Favreau and Fèvre

Both Favreau and Fèvre mean a blacksmith. They come from the Latin word “faber”. Favreau is the Southern French version, while Fèvre is Northern French.


Fournier

This French surname was used for a baker because they used the “fourneau” to cook the dough.


Fraise

Fraise is a French last name for someone who lived near an ash tree or ash wood.


François

You may be a little confused to see this name on a list of last names as it is more commonly associated with French first names, but it is also a common French surname.

It literally means “Frenchman”.


Gagneux

Gagneux means “to cultivate” or “to farm”, coming from the word “gagnier”.


Garnier

This is another word that you may recognise as a brand name but is a French last name as well.

It comes from the French word “garner” or “gernier” and means “storehouse for grain” or “keeper of the granary”.


Gauthier

This is a French surname that means “army ruler”. It originates from the Gaelic word “gaut” and Old French word “gault” meaning “forest”.


Guillaume

This popular French last name comes from the name “William” and means “protection” or “strength”.


Heroux

Heroux is a French surname which comes from a German first name “Hariwulf”, “Hari” meaning “army” and “wulf” meaning “wolf”.


Houde

This French last name has two meanings.

The first is that it comes from Haute-Loire, a village in Auvergne, South France.

The second is that it comes from the first name Oudet and means “wealth” as that name is derived from the German name “Ode” or “Aud”.


Hubert

This French last name means “heart”.


Jacques

Jacques is another French name which can be a first or last name and means “the one who follows”.


Janvier

Janvier is a French name that you may recognise from learning the days of the months because it translates to “January”.


Joubert

Joubert is a French surname which is the combination of two words. The Tribe name “Gaut” and “berth” which means “bright” or “famous”.


Kaplan

Kaplan means “charity priest”. It comes from the Old Norman French word “Caplain”.


La Rue

La Rue is a French last name which simply means “of the street” or “of the road”.


Lacroix

The meaning of this French surname is “the cross”.


Laflamme

Laflamme became a French last name for a torchbearer as it was used as both the occupations name and a nickname.


Langlais

Langlais is a French surname meaning “The Englishmen” so was typically given to those who moved to live in France from England.


Lapointe

Lapointe is a French last name meaning “the point”.


Laurent

Laurent is a French last name meaning “Laurel”.


Lavigne

Lavigne originates from the Old French word “vi(g)ne” meaning “vineyard”.


Lavoie

This French last name was used for someone who lived near a road as it comes from the word “voie” meaning “road”.


Léandre

Léandre is a French last name which came from Greek words meaning “Lion man”.


Lemaire

This French surname means “The Mayor”. It began as a title.


Lemieux

Lemieux is a French last name which means “the best”.


Leroy

This French name comes from the word “roy” meaning “king”. It is common in Northern France.


Lévesque

Lévesque is the French last name meaning “bishop”.


Lyon

The meaning of the French surname Lyon is fairly simple because it refers to someone who comes from Lyon, France.


Maçon

This French last name means “mason”.


Meunier

This French surname means “miller”.


Monet

Monet is a variation of Simon and means “to be heard”.


Montagne

Montagne is another location-based French surname meaning “Mountain”.


Moreau

This French last name originated as a nickname for someone with dark skin, and means “dark-skinned”.


Moulin

Moulin comes from the Latin word “Molina” which means “mill”.


Noyer

This French last name means “walnut”.


Ozanne

Ozanne originated as the female name “Osanna” and means “save now” or “save pray”.


Page

Page is an occupational French last name which comes from the Greek “paidion” meaning “little boy”.


Palomer

This French surname means “pigeon keeper” because it comes from the Latin word for pigeon, “palumbes”.


Patenaude

This French last name comes from Quebec and translates as the Lord’s Prayer because of its link with the English and Italian name Paternoster.


Paquet

This French last name means “bundle of kindling” as it comes from the word “pacquet”.


Pascal

Pascal means “Passover” because it comes from the Latin word “Pascha”.


Périgord

This French surname was given to those who originally came from the Périgord region of France.


Renaud

Renaud as a surname simply means “rule”.


Richelieu

This French surname means “wealthy place”.


Riviere

This French name was given to someone who lived near a river as it comes from the French word “riviere” meaning “river” or “shore”.


Rodier

This French surname comes from the Latin word “rota” meaning “wheel”, so was generally used for a wheelwright or someone who lived near a water wheel.


Rousseau

This name comes from the French word “rous” which means “red”. Thus, the name was used for a person with red hair or complexion.


Rutter

There are two meanings to the name Rutter.

It could have come from the French words “roteor”, “roteeur”, and “routeer”, in which case it would mean a person who plays the rote.

Or, it could have come from the French word “rotier”/ “routier,” which would mean “highwayman”.


Sauveterre

In full Sauveterre means “safe land” because it comes from “sauve” which means “safe” and “terre” which means “land”.


Segal

This is an occupational French last name for a grower or seller of rye because it originates from the Latin word “secale”.


Sergeant

This French surname means “servant”.


Serres

Serres has two potential meanings.

It could be used for someone from Southern or Eastern France.

Or it could come from “serre” which means “ridge” or “chain of hills”.


Simon

Simon is a popular European last name, meaning “to listen”.


Soulier

This French surname was used for a shoemaker, because of all the words it could have derived from, they all refer to a different type of shoe.


Tavernier

Tavernier comes from the French word for “innkeeper”.


Tremblay

This name means “aspen” and could have been used for someone who lived near aspen trees.


Trottier

Trottier is a French last name meaning “fast walker”.


Toussaint

This French name can be linked to the term “Toussaint” which is All Saints Day.


Vernier

Vernier means “near the alder tree”.


Vieux

Vieux comes from the French word “vieux” and means “old” in English.


Vigneau

Vigneau is another French surname which means “vineyard”, although this one was more likely used for the owner.


Vinet

Vinet also has links with a vineyard and means “to make wine”.


Visage

This French surname simply means “Face”.


Voclain

This is an Old French name meaning “the wealthy one”.


Yotte

Yotte is a French surname that means “small hedge” or “small woody plot of land.”


Zabelle

This French last name is a variation of “belle” meaning “beautiful”.


Conclusion

There are many more French surnames, but these are the most popular 100, along with their meanings.

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